Are you interested in a research based Honours or Masters degree or PhD with the Flinders Human Behaviour & Health Research Unit?

If so, please complete and return a  Research Higher Degree Expression of Interest or contact the Research Manager Dr Melanie Harris.

Some potential research supervisors are:

 

Research / Grants / Consultancies

 


Projects completed in 2012

Information sharing for the management of chronic conditions in primary health care: How does it work and what are the outcomes?

This research examined how information sharing within multidisciplinary health care teams can be enhanced to optimise the effectiveness of care planning for chronic condition management. A mixed method approach was applied to examine how information sharing operates and to seek client and health worker perspectives about how it may be improved. The findings reveal a range of key barriers to effective information sharing. These include: structural aspects of service collaboration, closed communication, ineffective procedures around consent, overlapping care plans, interactions that foster dependency and a lack of client involvement in decision making. Potential strategies to overcome the effects of these barriers at the policy and practice levels are suggested throughout the reports.

Full Report - click Information sharing for the managment of chronic conditions in PHC (full) (PDF 305KB)

Report Summary - Information sharing for the managment of chronic conditions in PHC (summary) (PDF 33KB)

For further information please contact Associate Professor Sharon Lawn: sharon.lawn@flinders.edu.au

 This research is a project of the Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute, which is supported by a grant from the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. The information and opinions contained in the report do not necessarily reflect the views or policy of the Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute or the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

 


 

Chronic Condition Management strategies in Aboriginal Communities

The goal was to evaluate, and where possible develop and demonstrate effective and transferable chronic condition management strategies, and to generate research evidence about their processes, impacts and health outcomes.

The project was conducted during 2008-2011 by a collaborative research team from Flinders University and the Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia working with the Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Service, Nunkuwarrin Yunti of South Australia Inc. and Riverland Community Health Service.

The research was funded through the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health (now managed by the Lowitja Institute). A flexible participatory action research approach using mixed methods was chosen for the study design.

Group analysis of the longitudinal clinical data from 36 clients showed statistically significant and clinically important improvements over time in key indicators of health associated with structured systems chronic condition care.

Qualitative data from interviews with clients and staff provided richer understandings of the benefits of chronic condition management and self-management.  Key enablers of effective chronic condition management were identified.  Though this action research project staff training in chronic condition self-management was provided, care plan promotion posters were developed and a support group was established.

Publications and Resources created through this project:

Kowanko, I., Helps, Y., Harvey, P., Battersby, M., McCurry, B., Carbine, R., Boyd, J., Abdulla, O., 2012,  Chronic Condition Management Strategies in Aboriginal Communities: Final Report 2011, Flinders University and the Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia, Adelaide. Chronic Condition Management Strategies in Aboriginal Communities (PDF 4MB)

Helps, Y. & Kowanko, I. 2011, Riverland Aboriginal Chronic Disease Support Group Community Storybook 2011, Flinders University and the Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia, Adelaide.

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Detail:

Gahanao, P. van Pelt P, Kowanko I & Helps Y.  Care Plan Health Promotion Poster: A Way of Reading and Learning Chronic Condition Self Management in Aboriginal Communities, in: 14th Annual Chronic Diseases Network Conference. 2010: Darwin, Northern Territory, South Australia.

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Detail:

 Gahanao, P., Helps, Y. and Kowanko I. 2010 Chronic condition self management stars posters – Isabel, Jackie, Wally, Flinders University and PLAHS, Adelaide. Self Management Star - Isabel's Story (PDF 210KB)   Self-Management Star - Jackie's Story (PDF 924KB)   Self-Management Star - Wally's Story (PDF 706KB)

Helps, Y. and McCurry, B. 2010, Could you be a self management star? PLAHS Health promotion poster , Flinders University and PLAHS, Adelaide. Could you be a Self-Management Star? (PDF 33KB)

Refer also  The Lowitja Institute website  

For further information please contact inge.kowanko@flinders.edu.au or yvonne.helps@flinders.edu.au 


Projects funded  in 2012

Battersby MW, Bidargaddi N, Lawn S, Newman L. Coordinating care in co-morbid serious mental illness with chronic physical illness or risk factors Flinders University Collaborative Research Grants Scheme (FCRGS)  (2012)  $25.000

Mohan I, Fisher C, Lawn S, Battersby MW. Chronic Disease Self-Management for people living with mental illness. SHRAC Research Translation Projects, Western Australian Department of Health.  (2012) $144,000


Projects funded  in 2011

Battersby MW, Lawn S, Wells L, Bacot-Kilpatrick J, Caldwell B, Clifton P, Mott K. Training and Resources in chronic disease management for the Preventable Admissions and Improved Community Care Program. The Coordinated Veterans’ Care (CVC) Program. Dept. of Veterans’ Affairs. $6.5 mil  (2011-2014) (Flinders contribution - $3,287,632),

Battersby MW, Brown A, Stewart P, Harris M, Lawn S,  et al. Prospective observational cohort study to determine if an established chronic disease health care plan can be used to deliver better care and outcomes among Remote Indigenous Australians – Proof Of Concept. AGDOHA (Closing the Gap - The Expanded Flinders Program. Training Australia’s Aboriginal Health Workforce. Funded with the Closing the Gap $5mil project. (2011-2014).

FHBHRU. Closing the Gap-The Expanded Flinders Program. Training Australia’s Aboriginal Health Workforce. AGDOHA,  $5million. (2011-2014).

Lawn S, Caring for Carers. Care Planning. Flinders University, Southern Knowledge Transfer Partnership. $10,000 (2011)

Lawn S. Evaluation of the Community Complex Care Management Program Model of Care. Independent Evaluation undertaken for the Adelaide Health Service-Southern Region. (June 2011) $15,000.

McMahon, J OAM, Lawn S.  National survey of the experiences of consumers with Borderline Personality Disorder and their carers. Research conducted by the Private Mental Health Consumer and Carer Network, in collaboration with the Private Mental Health Network. Auspiced by the Australian Medical Association. Pro Bono. (2011).

Oakes J, Pols RG, Pulvirenti M. Lawn S, A Qualitative Study Exploring the Relapse Process in Electronic Gaming Machine Gambling. Flinders University, Faculty of Health Science Seeding Grant,  (2011) $10,000


 

Projects funded  in 2010

Battersby MW, Brown A, Stewart P, Harris M, Lawn S, Nadarajan K, et al. AUSI-CDS (Australian Indigenous Chronic Disease Optimization Study)

AGDOHA (Closing the Gap - The Expanded Flinders Program. Training Australia’s Aboriginal Health Workforce.. Funded with the Closing the Gap (2010-2013) $5,396,331.

Lawn, S. Exploring the experiences of mental health carers who care for a spouse with mental illness. Flinders University, Faculty of Health Science Seeding Grant,  (2010). $15,000.

Lawn S, Sweet L, Battersby MW, Skinner T. Inter-disciplinary and cross boundary clinical information sharing in primary health care: How do they work and what are the outcomes for clients with chronic conditions and their health care providers? Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute (APHCRI), , (Oct 2010 – Dec 2011).$152,334.

Lindemann, I., Lawn, S., Gum, L. et al. Developing collaborative inter-professional education - From the classroom to the workplace. Flinders University DVC Research/SKTP/ Exec Dean FHS/Dean School of Medicine/Dean School of Nursing and Midwifery,  (2010-2011).$110,000.

Muir-Cochrane E, McMillan J, Lawn S, Green D, Barkway P, Roberts L. Learning together:  developing multi disciplinary learning between health students and the use of Second Life (an innovative technologically supported pedagogical tool) in the core mental health topic of undergraduate health courses,  209/0910 Multidisciplinary Training in Mental Health Program, DOHA, (January 2010).$91,625.29.


Projects undertaken in 2009

FHBHRU was successful in receiving funding from the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing through the chronic disease self-management /Lifestyle and risk modification grant scheme for the following two projects:

Project 1: Flinders University Inter-Professional Learning Activities for Chronic Condition Prevention and Self-Management Support

Funding received: $199,970 (2009-2010)

The aim of this project is to develop a comprehensive suite of activities designed to embed an understanding of prevention and chronic condition self-management support (CCSMS) across the medical, nursing and allied health curriculum at Flinders University. This activity will contribute significantly to the university’s strategic plans for building inter-professional learning across its health programs as part of the development of the two year multidisciplinary Bachelor of Health Sciences program as from 2010- 2011 from which students will then branch out to individual specialisation. The proposed activities include:

  • A pilot programme of experiential learning for students in risk factor self-management behaviour change.
  • Development of problem-based learning (PBL) resources for teaching CCPSMS, to be delivered to inter-professional learning (IPL) students groups drawn from across health undergraduate and post-graduate programs at Flinders University.
  • Development of the Flinders self-management care planning workshop for fully online delivery of students across health programs and remote sites.

 

Project 2: Carers supporting people with Chronic Mental Health Conditions- DVD learning resource.

Funding received: $53,566 (2009-2010)

This project will aim to develop an education and training resource to enhance the existing and future health workforces’ understanding of how to work effectively with carers of people with chronic mental health and co-morbid health conditions and risk factors. This would comprise a DVD and a complementary written learning materials for organisations as part of workforce training for multi-disciplinary staff in the field of mental health and primary health care. It would also have potential to be used by universities as part of curriculum design for many health undergraduate and post graduate programs. Carers interested in building their capacity to support their loves ones would also find such a resource of value.

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Flinders Human Behaviour and Research Unit is also undertaking a research project funded by the Department of Health and Ageing under their sharing health care initiative. The project is entitled:

Are patient competencies improved using the Flinders self-management approach? 
Funding received: $506,710 (2009- 2011)

The project’s aim is to evaluate the effectiveness of the Flinders self-management care planning approach in improving patient competencies in the management of their chronic conditions in people attending community based health services in Southern Adelaide. A second aim will be to examine what organisational, health professional and patient characteristics predict improved patient competencies in self-management.

A third aim of the study will be to simultaneously enable the 14 item PIH to be psychometrically evaluated for internal consistency, reliability and factor structure. The 14 item PIH is has been used in practice for the last 4 years and is a refinement of the 12 item PIH. Previous analysis of the 12 item PIH showed high internal consistency and 4 factors describing patient competencies i.e., knowledge, adherence, coping and symptom management.

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Projects funded  in 2009

Battersby, MW., Pols, R., Lawn, S. Flinders University Inter-Professional Learning Activities for Chronic Condition Prevention and Self-Management Support .Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, Chronic Disease Self-management/Lifestyle and Risk Modification Grants ITA – 193/0809,  (July 2009 - May 2010).$199,970.

Campion, J., Lawn, S.UK Dept. of Health, Audit of smoking policy in Mental Health Inpatient Units. (invited). Chartered Institute of Environment Health, UK. (July 2009). £30,000

Lawn, S. Investigating the acceptability and feasibility of implementing the Flinders chronic condition self-management care planning for Dedicated CCSM PHC Workers and Aboriginal Health Workers in the Southern Adelaide Health Service (SAHS): A Qualitative Investigation.  (2009).$27,664.

Lawn, S. & Barbara, A. Carers Supporting People with Chronic Mental Health Conditions – DVD Learning Resource. Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, Chronic Disease Self-management/Lifestyle and Risk Modification Grants ITA – 193/0809,  (Aug 2009 - May 2010).$53,366

Linderman, I., Ward, H., Lawn, S., Gum, L., et al. Developing collaborative interprofessional education - From the classroom to the workplace. Flinders University Faculty of Health Science,  (Aug 2009). $10,000.


Projects funded in 2008

Smoke Free Final Report 2008

Battersby, M., Lawn, S., Ackland, A., Higgins, P., Piotto, M. Investigating the acceptability and feasibility of implementing the Flinders chronic condition self-management care planning process by the Primary Health Care (PHC) Team with clients with chronic conditions in the Southern Adelaide Health Service (SAHS), 2008, $47,120.

Battersby, M., Ackland, A., Francis, T., McKean, L. Lawn, S. Investigating the acceptability and feasibility of implementing the Flinders chronic condition self-management care planning process by the Aboriginal Health Team (AHT) with Aboriginal clients with chronic conditions in the Southern Adelaide Health Service (SAHS), 2008, $54,404.   

Valenstein, M. (Michigan, USA), Richards, D. (York, UK), Lawn, S., Battersby, MW. et al.Miller Innovation Award/ University of Michigan Comprehensive Depression Centre Innovation Fund International Collaboration. Depression study: Improving Depression Management in a Global World. Innovative services programs for people in treatment for depression: Piloting a telephone based peer support program. 2008-2009, $101,778 $US.


 

2007-2008

The Development of an Integrated Prevention and Self-management Program for SA Lifestyle Advisors

(Redevelopment of the Flinders Chronic Condition Self-Management Model)

FHBHRU in conjunction with the South Australian Department of Health has adapted the Flinders Program of Chronic Condition Self-management to have a prevention focus. This will form part of the training for SA Lifestyle Advisers, based in community health services, who are working within the Lifestyle and Risk Factor program. The Lifestyle and Risk Factor program aims to help clients self-manage their lifestyle-based risk factors (smoking, nutrition, alcohol, physical activity and stress) for prevention of chronic disease.

FHBHRU have also almost completed the development of a comprehensive risk factor assessment tool which will be used in the program. This is currently being piloted in two community settings. Training in the adapted Flinders Program and in the use of the risk factor assessment tool is planned for early May 2008.

Funds provided by South Australian Department of Health - $89,400.

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A Capabilities Toolkit for Primary Health Care Professionals

Flinders Human Behaviour and Health Research Centre (FHBHRU) aim to produce a Capabilities Toolkit for Primary Health Care Professionals: Supporting Self-Management (the toolkit).  FHBHRU will provide a resource for use by those who provide Chronic Disease Self-Management (CDSM) support training and education to primary health care professionals in the field and to students across medical, nursing and allied health courses within the tertiary sector.

It will bring together recommendations related specifically to skills and content of education and training, drawn from two recent research projects that FHBHRU and its project partners have undertaken for the Department of Health and Ageing within the Australian Better Health Initiative (ABHI).

This document will be useful for:

  • A wide range of health professional organisations and educators to guide training course development for both entry level and current primary healthcare workers
  • Managers in assessing the quality of training offered to their employees
  • The primary health care workforce in self-assessing their capabilities and need for up-skilling, and
  • Professional accreditation bodies in promoting desired competencies in CDSM.

The Toolkit will provide a structure to support education and training authorities and discipline regulatory bodies to understand, incorporate and implement self-management support for chronic diseases and conditions into the Australian health education and professional development system.

Funds provided by Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing - $31,838 (GST inclusive).

The published report below brings together the key findings, on the needs, gaps and recommendations from all sources of data for the project.

Battersby M, Lawn S, Wells L, Morris S, Wong T, Lindner H, et al. An Analysis of Training and Information Options to Support Chronic Disease Prevention and Self-Management in Primary Health Care: Report for the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing: Flinders Human Behaviour and Health Research Unit 2007. (view PHC workforce Final Report (PDF 1MB) )(to access the 12 attachments to the report contact FHBHRU.

 


Battersby, M., Lawn, S., Reed, R. Litt, J. Wells, L. Littlefield, L. & Lindner, H. An analysis of training and information options to support chronic disease prevention and self-management in primary health care, RFT 143 / 0607. Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, (2007-2008) $509,320. .

Should you require further information regarding the Flinders Human Behaviour & Health Research Unit's funding, please contact Tam Francis .

ARCHIVE: RESEARCH AT FHBHRU PRE-2007